Uganda: Social Justice and Community Empowerment

picture of children getting water from a barrel in Uganda.

Enrich lives through community-based initiatives focused on empowerment and education.

Project description

Aswa Community Development Initiative (ACDI)  is a fully registered Community Based Organization (CBO) with the Gulu District Local Government Community Services Department  and was established in 2011 by a group of volunteer youth. The current areas of operation are Awach and Palaro Sub-Counties Aswa county Gulu District. ACDI envisions a well empowered, educated , healthy, and developed community living in a well conserved environment. Primary aims of ACDI are improving the socio-economic conditions of women, youth, children, and the elderly. We place great emphasis on those living with HIV/AIDS, especially widows and orphaned children by working to ensure the enrichment of their rights and by fighting stigmatization and environmental annihilation. Our mission is to raise the standard of living through provision of formal knowledge to increase understanding, improve livelihoods and foster a change of attitudes to promote community development. 

Our current goals include:

  • Mobilizing vulnerable groups (children, widows, youth) to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and to demand their rights in this community
  • To combat illiteracy, lack of education and poverty among women and youth
  • To build peace and end gender violence
  • To provide support to orphans widows and youth through community development projects 
  • To facilitate and support women through income generating projects

Ongoing projects include:

  • Peace Building and Awareness
  • Girl Child Education Program
  • Women Land Rights and Livelihoods
  • HIV/AIDS Sensitization and Awareness Program
  • Gender Based Violence Awareness
  • Income Generating Activities: liquid soap making
  • Village Savings and Microfinance in partnership and collaboration with ActionAid International Uganda
  • Stress and Trauma Management (currently utilizing Transcendental Meditation)

Project outcome

Specific project outcomes will be customized through communication with NGO partners. Past examples of global projects have included:

  • Marketing and content development for websites and social media 
  • Research and resource sharing
  • Mentoring and networking 
  • Program and curriculum development 
  • Grant writing

Please note: In addition to the options above, partners may have specialized project requests.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Variable
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Variable
Benefits Variable
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Core partners

  • Nokrach (Kenneth) Kaunda

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

24 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834


Start the project

To apply for one of the limited spaces, send an interest email to with the following information and one of our staff will respond with more information via email :  

  • Share relevant background information about yourself and why you are interested in a global project.
  • Review the list of current global partnerships, list the three you are most interested in working with and explain why for each.
  • Explain what you hope to contribute to and gain from a global project.

Note that global partners rely on the contributions associated with ELN student projects and commit their limited time and resources to working with students. Accordingly, different projects will require varying amounts of time and strong commitment and follow through.  

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  1. Examine the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the history of the framework. Then select one SDG to focus on as you work through your project.
  2. Download and complete this PowerPoint template.